Leave nothing undone (Joshua 11:1-15)
The last couple of blogs I have written have come from Joshua and we will remain in Joshua for this one as well. In Joshua 11:1-15 we find these words,
When Jabin, king of Hazor, heard of this, he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph,
2 and to the kings who were in the northern hill country, and in the Arabah south of Chinneroth, and in the lowland, and in Naphoth-dor on the west,
3 to the Canaanites in the east and the west, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, and the Jebusites in the hill country, and the Hivites under Hermon in the land of Mizpah.
4 And they came out with all their troops, a great horde, in number like the sand that is on the seashore, with very many horses and chariots.
5 And all these kings joined their forces and came and encamped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel.
6 And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow at this time I will give over all of them, slain, to Israel. You shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.”
7 So Joshua and all his warriors came suddenly against them by the waters of Merom and fell upon them.
8 And the LORD gave them into the hand of Israel, who struck them and chased them as far as Great Sidon and Misrephoth-maim, and eastward as far as the Valley of Mizpeh. And they struck them until he left none remaining.
9 And Joshua did to them just as the LORD said to him: he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire.
10 And Joshua turned back at that time and captured Hazor and struck its king with the sword, for Hazor formerly was the head of all those kingdoms.
11 And they struck with the sword all who were in it, devoting them to destruction; there was none left that breathed. And he burned Hazor with fire.
12 And all the cities of those kings, and all their kings, Joshua captured, and struck them with the edge of the sword, devoting them to destruction, just as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded.
13 But none of the cities that stood on mounds did Israel burn, except Hazor alone; that Joshua burned.
14 And all the spoil of these cities and the livestock, the people of Israel took for their plunder. But every person they struck with the edge of the sword until they had destroyed them, and they did not leave any who breathed.
15 Just as the LORD had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the LORD had commanded Moses.
(Jos. 11:1-15 ESV)
Here we see another coalition of kings much like we did in chapter 10 but this time it is even larger and now we are talking about the northern part of Canaan. Jabin King of Hazor heard about what happened in the south and he sends word to the king of Shimron, Achshaph, and the rest of the northern territory. All of these came out and they are described as a great horde in number like the sand that is on the seashore with very many horses and chariots. They joined together and camped at the waters of Merom (north of the Sea of Galilee). This group has horses and chariots, a new factor, not mentioned before in any of the peoples Joshua and Israel have faced since entering the land. Plus, the sheer numbers seem to be insurmountable. What will happen?
God fights for Israel again. He tells Joshua, Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow at this time I will give over all of them, slain, to Israel. You shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire. God intervenes. Joshua is not to fear this great horde with their horses and chariots because just like the last coalition of kings their fate is sure. God will bring them to an end. All Joshua must do is go out and fight with victory guaranteed.
We have seen this before with the last group of kings. A coalition of sinners cannot stand against God. It does not matter how many you have on your side. It does not matter what latest technology you have at your disposal. To stand against God means your destruction. We must be like Joshua and go into the battle assured of victory regardless of how large or how powerful the enemy seems to us. The enemy will not defeat God. God has already overcome sin and now he sends us with the same encouragement, Do not be afraid of them…. I will give them over, slain. God has won the victory over sin on our behalf. Now, like Joshua, we must go fight the battles. We must devote every last sin to destruction. We must like verse 15 states leave nothing undone of all that the LORD has commanded.
By His Grace Alone,